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Revenue Falls 9.2 Percent As Groupe Bull Reports $338 Million Loss

July 28, 1992

PARIS (AP) _ Troubled computer maker Groupe Bull SA, which has significant U.S. operations, said Tuesday it lost the equivalent of $338 million in the first half of 1992, down from a loss of $388 million in the same period last year.

Revenue at the French government-owned company fell 9.2 percent, from $3.04 billion last year to $2.76 billion.

The company blamed the revenue decline on competitive cost pressures and a persistently unfavorable economic climate.

Bull said its operating losses came to $171 million, improving from the first-half 1991 operating deficit of $258 million.

The results follow the appointment last month of Bernard Pache as Bull’s chairman, replacing Francis Lorentz. Pache previously directed state-owned Charbonnages de France, a coal-mining company.

Lorentz told the Wall Street Journal last month that he expected Bull to show an operating profit this year, but post a net loss due to interest payments and the weak computer market. He said Bull aims to return to a net profit in 1993.

Some analysts questioned whether Lorentz’s departure might slow the links Bull is developing with International Business Machines Corp., but Pache has pledged to stress continuity.

Bull agreed earlier this year to use a speedy microprocessor chip IBM has developed. IBM agreed to invest about $100 million in Bull in exchange for 5.68 percent of Bull’s stock and to resell some Bull products.

Bull also is linked with Japan’s NEC Corp., which holds a 4.7 percent stake.

In the United States, Bull owns Zenith Data Systems, a personal computer maker based outside Chicago, and the former Honeywell computer operations, centered in Massachusetts.

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